‘Tintin’ International Trailer: Exciting Adventure, Distracting Mo-Cap

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 7:06 am,

The Adventures of Tintin international trailer Tintin International Trailer: Exciting Adventure, Distracting Mo Cap

Steven Spielberg returns to the period adventure genre this winter with The Adventures of Tintin, an adaptation of the famous comic book character created by Belgian writer/artist George Prosper Remi (pen name, Hergé).

The Tintin teaser trailer was big on the mysterious atmosphere and revealed little about either the plot of the film or its characters, brought to life via the magic of motion-capture technology. Now there’s a new international Adventures of Tintin trailer that offers more insight into both story and characters (for better or for worse).

Adventures of Tintin, which is internationally titled The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, follows the titular crusading journalist (played by Jamie Bell) and his loyal white terrier, Snowy, as they set out to find the legendary ship known as the Unicorn – before the evil Red Rackham (Daniel Craig) can get his mittens on it.

Joining Tintin and Snowy on their adventure is one Captain Haddock, brought to life by mo-cap expert Andy Serkis. This new international trailer for Spielberg’s film offers a much better look at Serkis’ bearded captain character, which begs the question: Does the mo-cap tech serve The Adventures of Tintin as well as it does the upcoming Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which also stars Serkis?

Find out by watching the international Adventures of Tintin trailer below:

In terms of story and action, Adventures of Tintin looks to deliver on both counts. Based on this early footage, Spielberg has crafted yet another fun period adventure that boasts plenty of thrilling chases scenes over sea, across the desert, and under the cover of night. That Spielberg recruited great writing talents like Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead), Steven Moffat (Doctor Who), and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) to script the plot and dialogue should only help matters.

However, the mo-cap in Tintin comes off as more of a potential hindrance than a necessary move. Its effect on the cinematography of the film is especially noticeable, since it doesn’t allow for the traditional (read: seamless) editing style. As a result, there are times this Adventures of Tintin footage looks more like a video game rather than a film, in terms of how it’s shot.

As is always the case with mo-cap, though, the bigger issue is the expressiveness of the human characters (or lack thereof). While in this case they are actually meant to be more cartoonish and caricature-like in comparison to their surroundings (an imitation of the ligne claire drawing method pioneered by Hergé in his original Tintin comic books), their movement and mannerisms still look noticeably off. It’s an improvement on the animation in this past spring’s Mars Needs Moms, but not enough to avoid being a distraction.

Adventures of Tintin movie trailer Tintin International Trailer: Exciting Adventure, Distracting Mo Cap

Captain Haddock (Serkis) and Tintin (Bell)

All that said, though, Adventures of Tintin does look like it could be a fun way to spend a couple of hours at the theater during the impending Christmas season. Plus, we’re still several months away from its release, which should allow more time for Spielberg’s technical crew to fine-tune and improve the movement and action of the film’s mo-cap characters.

The Adventures of Tintin arrives in U.S. theaters on December 23rd, 2011.

TAGS: Tintin
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  1. They certainly know how to keep an animated strip animated. Why bother making a movie if you aren’t going to use real actors?

    • I think that Spielberg is pushing for something that makes sense for tintin to be mo cap. Although a live action Tintin would be nice, it’s nice to see a different visual.

    • “Why bother making a movie if you aren’t going to use real actors?”


      They are using real actors, Jamie Bell and Daniel Craig were mentioned. Or do you mean real actors being filmed….

      Actually I stand by my O.o ….

      • Motion capture of course. I just like to see real visuals. Aside from Pixar I really don’t think we need whole movies made from CGI.

  2. 1.) I love this article’s point of view after 1min and 14sec trailer. It’s just awesome. I can’t wait until you guys review the entire movie.

    2.)”Why bother making a movie if you aren’t going to use real actors?” HA! I guess that means you’re not a fan of the incredibles,The iron giant or any other classic animated film.

  3. The mo-cap looks like Nara needs moms and we all know how that worked out

  4. The mo-cap looks like mars needs moms and we all know how well that did

    • So mo-cap was the downfall of Moms or was it the writing, story, and drama?

  5. As an ‘old’ Tintin fan.. and there are a lot of us.. I think the mocap has done it! The above trailer is brilliant! It has done what we have always dreamed of for our favourite comics: given us the 2D characters in three dimensions with real movements — unlike so many prior attempts. Way to go, movie team!

  6. I think it looked excellent. I like the motion capture and I didn’t mind it at all. I think it was a good choice for this to be mo-cap rather than live action. It feels much more like the animated cartoon I used to watch when I was younger. I like that it looks more cartoonish so I don’t care that the movements are a bit off. I mean if they wanted that much realism they wouldn’t have made it in motion capture in the first place.

  7. Oddly enough, I think I might be better with the mo-cap if the scenery was actually live-action. Case in point: even though the apes in RotPotA have similar movement issues, I find that less distracting in a real world setting. Plus, that approach would imitate the ligne claire drawing style of the Tintin comics all the better.

    To be fair, though, that might’ve been all the more expensive to do. Ah, well, the movie still looks fun, overall. 8-)

  8. lol, uncharted

  9. This makes me wonder where the movie industry’s going? Some say Japans movie industry is what it is because of the great expense of live action. Crew sizes, logistics, etc, etc. So with ever increasing budget sizes and risks concomitantly going up with them is the industry casting about in the digital arena for cheaper effective solutions? Will all digital movies become the norm someday rather than a break from the traditional?

  10. Well over on Superherohype, every time there is an update on this movie it is always followed by a torrent of hate. It seems people think that because Americans haven’t heard of Tintin (most Americans), then why should they bother making it?

    Honestly, I just don’t understand some of the hate coming from people unfamiliar with Tintin. I think this looks really great. It would be nice if it was live action, but I think they’ve taken this approach because the characters in Tintin were draw in quite a comicy way. Similar to Asterix (Although, they did that live action.). But I guess this technique actually frees them up a lot in what they can actually do.

  11. The trailer doesn’t inspire me. This one is not on my radar but I’ll wait for SR’s review before making a decision to see it or not.

    • Can I recommend that you get familiar with the source material?
      I wasn’t interested in the movie either but then, out of boredom, I started watching some free episodes and the tv show on youtube and now I’m keeping my eye on it. I’m also trying to get my hands on some of the comics.

      • Try the official Tintin website. They’ve recently been releasing translated copies of the comics. I happen to work at an entertainment store, so I got lucky with them.

        • They have loads of english language copies of the Tintin books on ebay. They also have copies that have three stoies in one volume but are a smaller format than the A4 ish size originals. It works out cheaper and may be a good idea if you want to test the water with the Tintin books.

  12. Speilberg, Jackson, Wright, Cornish, Pegg, and Frost. Wow, that’s quite a list but I just can’t get excited for this. I hope I’m wrong and it turns out great but I’m not there yet.

  13. I haven’t been too big a fan of mo-cap but in this case I feel it was the right way to go. I have read the books (or comics if you will) and this is right on the mark. Tintin should not be live-action, it would never work. It looks beautiful and feels like an excellent action-adventure. And it has a score by the great John Williams. Can’t wait!

    • I agree with you here. I have also read every single Tintin comic I could get my hands on, and when I heard that Hollywood was doing Tintin, I was really nervous about it, because in my mind, live action just wouldn’t feel right, and who in their right minds (in real life) would have hair like Tintin lol. Once I found out it was mo-cap I immediately breathed a sigh of relief because with this being animated, the filmmakers are able to keep true not only on a story scale, but also the look and design of the comic. I for one am really looking forward to this film, and by the whiskers of Kurvi-Tasch, I’m going to see it in theaters when it comes out!

  14. I believe shido spoke for a lot of us who grew up reading Tintin and Asterix. I was amazed they weren’t too popular in the US. Both comics were enlightening and educative for both kids and adults alike. Both were mixed with fun and adventure; the former travelled alot and gave me a broad appreciation of various cultures and regions while the latter piqued my interest in history and mythology. These two characters (along with BMX bicycles) are some of the things kids are missing today.

    Seriously now, this is one of the best efforts on Tintin. I have seen live action movies of Tintin and Asterix-they never (and may never) do these legendary characters justice. This is because the humour in these comics were usually unrealistic and would look ridiculous in real life. Slapstick comedy, which would represent most of Prof. Calculus’, the Thomson twins’ and Capt. Haddock’s antics in the comics would, at best, come off as a cliche and at worst be downright annoying to the modern movie-goer. It can only be pulled off in cartoons and yes, maybe now mo-caps. In so doing, the viewer is in a realm that straddles reality and fantasy. Herge was a genius to say the least…in storytelling, in panel by panel cinematography, in scenery. You can’t take his pictures in in one glance. For those who never grew up reading Tintin, I recommend a read before watching this movie.

    I do not think Secret of the Unicorn was one of the very interesting Tintin comics (what with Land of Black Gold, Calculus Affair, King Ottokar’s Sceptre, Cigars of the Pharaoh and yes! Prisoners of the Sun available for adaptation)but I think this episode showed the sleuth in Tintin. Though Haddock first met Tintin in ‘Crab with the Golden Claws’ (the trailer seems to give us the impression that they first met here), ‘Secret’ was Haddock’s formal intro as an important Tintin character so guess I see the reasons behind Spielberg’s choice for adaptation.

    I hope it lives up to expectations; because just like Goscinny and Uderzo did with Asterix, Herge left shoes too big to fill and inspired many of us to draw, write and thoroughly research our works/material. If anyone can do it, Spielberg can.

    • @ Claude

      Some really great points there. I’m more familiar with Asterix myself than Tintin, but agree with everything you mentioned. I just hope it does well as the thought of something like this failing and Bayformers doing so well just wouldn’t be justice. I suppose it comes down to the Ben Ten generation making it a success or not.

    • Don’t forget Tintin in America; also, if everything goes well with this one, they plan on developing it into a trilogy.

  15. Interesting how everyone seems to think the mocap expressions here are off, yet its exactly the same technology/FX that made the Na’vi so believable. Perhaps the combo of mocap and non-real textures just has that effect. I can’t see how this will look like the Polar Express when Avatar got it so right.
    I suspect after a few minutes of seeing them in the movie it won’t be an issue though, unless of course you’re dead set on making it an issue.

  16. So, most of you rant about mo-cap. Well, Avatar was pretty much all mo-cap. Every single na’vi was mo-caped both body and face… Was that bad?